Israeli gymnast Alex Shatilov claimed a gold medal on Saturday in his final event before the Rio Olympics, finishing in first place in the floor final at the World Challenge Cup competition in Anadia, Portugal.
The 29-year-old, who won a bronze medal in the floor exercise at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Bern, Switzerland last month, registered a score of 15.100 on Saturday after qualifying with a result of 15.350."I'm pleased with my performance in the competition because I managed to score over 15 in both the qualifiers and the final," said Shatilov.
"Winning a gold medal is always pleasing. This is my final competition before Rio so this gives me confidence."
Shatilov will participate in his third straight Olympics this summer, only securing his place in Rio in April after finishing in 10th place in the All-Around competition at the Olympic Test Event held in the host city.
Shatilov has recorded groundbreaking achievements for local gymnastics throughout his career, but had struggled for form over the previous couple of years. He finished the floor final in Beijing 2008 in eighth place before going on to claim two bronze medals at the World Championships (2009, 2011). However, after arriving at the previous Olympics in London as a medal candidate, ultimately finishing in sixth, Shatilov will enter Rio with far lower expectations, although Saturday's triumph will certainly give him plenty of encouragement.
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